Most of the time one only cares about a lead foot when it goes one into problems. I did a fair amount of driving yesterday, most of which were at pretty high speeds, but managed to avoid any close encounters of the state trooper kind. Even with my foot being slightly leaden, I was far from the fastest car on the road. Yet even without the obvious nature of a problem, I noticed something that bothered me a bit, and noticing patterns before they become too problematic is something I try to do whenever possible.
When I was leaving Salem on my way back home last night, there were two things that bothered me about the experience. For one, I found myself feeling particularly hurried without a reason. This was something I noticed on the way to Salem as well, and even the way to services. To be sure, I did not travel either to services nor to choir practice with an abundance of time, but in neither case was I in any serious danger of being late, indeed in both situations I ended up with some time to spare. Yet even without being in a hurry or even feeling as if I was under a lot of time pressure I still acted in a hurried sense. We tend to like to think that we act in a certain way because of the pressure of exterior circumstances, or perhaps a mistaken understanding of those circumstances, but there are occasions where one acts hurried even consciously knowing that one has “plenty of time,” within ordinary circumstances. I wondered why this was the case.
Similarly, I was a bit concerned about my tendency to feel particularly anxious in the midst of traffic, even when it is moving at a high speed. To be sure, I do not feel I drive particularly dangerously when anxious. If my fast twitch muscles tend to work well, I do not find myself being particularly reckless, and this is definitely a good thing. But it does not feel good to feel anxious, not least because it is hard to rely on other drivers behaving in a sensible manner. If one could be confident in what other people were doing it would be far less stressful, but one cannot assume that others will follow at a safe distance or know what late they should be in, and this causes obvious difficulties in getting into a good flow.
Finally, there was something I noticed, namely that I like to drive with a certain touch. I like to know that if my foot feels a certain way that I am going a certain speed. What clued me in that my feet were feeling particularly leaden is that I was going five to ten miles an hour faster than I wanted to go, thus leading me to have to slacken off a bit and let things coast back to where I wanted them to be. I’ll have to see if this is something that tends to happen only on longer days when it comes to driving or if it is something I will have to keep a closer eye on.